Galápagos: Planned Sites

Planned Sites in Galápagos

Isla Santa Cruz

The second largest of the Galápagos islands, Santa Cruz’s ecosystems include lush, high-elevation forests with lumbering giant tortoises; arid scrubland with tree-sized opuntia cactus; the dark tubular habitats of the island’s lava tubes; rocky intertidal zones dotted with marine iguanas; and turquoise seascapes patrolled by pelican squads. Isla Santa Cruz is also home to the most sizable human population in Galápagos archipelago, making it the best place to study human impacts and conservation solutions.

Puerto Ayora

This tropical town lies on the southern shore of Isla Santa Cruz and is the island’s economic and cultural center. Puerto Ayora is a relaxed, open, and sunny place where you can encounter sea lions on the docks or be visited by some of “Darwin’s” finches while you eat breakfast at an outdoor café. Important locations in town include the Charles Darwin Research Station and the Galápagos headquarters of Ecology Project International.

Isla Isabela

Isabela Island is the largest of the archipelago and one of the youngest geologically. Isabela is home to many plant and animal species amidst its active volcanoes. Notable species on the island include Darwin’s finches, fur seals, flightless cormorants, and the well-known Galápagos penguins endemic to Galápagos.